Assemblymember Emily Gallagher’s Statement on the FY2021-22 New York State Budget
In the richest city in the richest country in the history of the world, we’ve struggled year after year to invest in our most basic needs because of a destructive commitment to austerity. This year, we’re charting a new direction. That’s why I voted yes.
Among the tremendous victories in this budget:
- Nearly $5 billion in new annual revenue, raised from the wealthiest New Yorkers and corporations—the most revenue New York has raised in more than a decade.
- Historic investments in public education, including $4.1 billion in foundation aid (the first time NY has ever met its obligations)
- $2.3 billion for rent relief that requires landlords who accept the funds to freeze rents and evictions for a year, and cancels rental debt if landlords refuse.
- Reauthorization of the $3 billion Environmental Bond Act that could support as many as 65,000 jobs in climate change mitigation, clean water, and other projects.
- A $2.1 billion excluded workers’ fund to provide cash assistance for folks who lost their jobs during the pandemic but couldn’t access any relief because of their immigration status
- A rejection of Governor Cuomo’s raids on MTA funding and efforts to undermine New York City’s landmark Local Law 97 to curb emissions from buildings.
In all of these areas, we could have gone further. We are still not taxing the massive inheritances that field intergenerational inequality and that massive racial wealth gap. We are not imposing a small fee on financial transactions. We are not addressing the inequities between how income and capital gains are taxed. I will keep fighting for all of these so we can secure truly universal healthcare, repair our public housing, pass a New Deal for CUNY, ensure safe staffing in our hospitals and end the moral abomination of homelessness once and for all.
But make no mistake: we have changed the game. We are ending the age of austerity. We are investing in our New York.